Despite the offensive aimed at rooting out the Taliban in the Afghan city of Marjah earlier this year, militants there continue to “plant bombs and intimidate civilians,” report Tony Perry and Laura King of the Los Angeles Times.
“Security for Afghan villagers remains precarious in the Marjah district of Helmand province, where U.S. Marines and Afghan soldiers mounted a massive assault in February to oust the Taliban from control, according to the Marine general who led the assault,” they write.
“Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson said late Sunday that while there are hopeful signs in Marja, with Afghan police patrolling and farmers signing up to grow crops other than opium poppy, the mission's success or failure may not be known for months.”
At Foreign Affairs, Zalmay Khalilzad – a former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan – has a list of books to read about Afghan politics.
“The struggle for Afghanistan may be the most important and challenging geopolitical and moral issue facing the United States and the world at large today,” he writes. “The books below illuminate the main factors that will help determine the struggle's outcome.”
Some other news reports and perspectives:
- Karen DeYoung and Griff Witte (Washington Post): “A closer look at the divisions within Pakistan”
- Elisabeth Bumiller (New York Times): “Kazakhstan to permit military overflights to Afghanistan”
- Gordon Lubold (Christian Science Monitor): “For good of Afghanistan war, U.S. seeks truce with Hamid Karzai”
- Adam B. Ellick (New York Times): “Bootlegging, Pakistan-Style”